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Edition Klavier - Festival Ruhr Vol. 36, „The Americas“ and a new Melodram
George Gershwin - John Adams - Alberto Ginastera - Astor Pizzolla

Edition Klavier - Festival Ruhr Vol. 36, „The Americas“ and a new Melodram

Sergio Tiempo & others

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085534593
barcode
Catalog number: AVI 8553459
Releasedate: 09-02-18
- As every year, the 3 CD box-set reflects on highlights of the 2017 Festival
- “The Americas” – CD 1 and CD 2 are donated to the two parts of the entire American continent presenting unheard and heavily researched music
- A new Melodrama has been commissioned by the Ruhr Piano Festival (only German)

On the occasion of Philip Glass’s 80th birthday, and in view of the current global situation, I felt inspired and urged to remind music lovers of the cultural richness and variety of the New World, and to recall that its artists strongly defend humanistic values. With that motivation, the Ruhr Piano Festival 2017 was held under the global motto of “The Americas”, focusing on the music of the entire double continent. That focus is likewise reflected in our annual boxed set of three CDs.

On the first CD you will find examples of the spirited, colourful music of several South American countries. You have certainly already heard works by composers such as the Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos or the Argentinians Astor Piazzolla and Alberto Ginastera. But the enchanting works of artists such as Moisés Moleiro, Cláudio Santoro or Carlos López Buchardo, just to name a few, were a wonderful discovery for me as well. I therefore thank the pianists Sergio Tiempo, Anna Zassimova and Zhang Zuo, not only for having offered us thrilling interpretations of these pieces, but for having undertaken the considerable task of unearthing these almost unknown works, and having taken the time to learn them to perfection. The second CD takes us to North America: to the US. The music of Edward MacDowell, a New York native, exudes a thoroughly European, Late Romantic flair. His Sonata No. 2 grips the listener with a great variety of ideas and overflowing virtuosity: Joseph Moog plays it with admirable ease. With Samuel Barber’s Hesitation Tango and George Gershwin’s Three Preludes, we enter the world of American dance music and early 20th-century jazz, both of which exerted a strong influence on ‘learned’ music of the day, not only in the US. These pieces have found a congenial interpreter in Bulgarian pianist Plamena Mangova.

The second CD closes with rarities for two pianos. Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies – recipients of the Ruhr Piano Festival Prize 2017 along with Philip Glass – perform Henry Cowell’s Celtic Set, William Bolcom’s Sonata for Two Pianos, and the splendid Hallelujah Junction by John Adams, who has celebrated his 70th birthday this year.

The melodrama – a musical genre that associates instrumental music with spoken text – flourished during a relatively brief period in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A commission from the Ruhr Piano Festival has brought this genre back to life: renowned author Michael Krüger has written thirteen short texts on the subject of Missed Opportunities, expressively set to music by Manfred Trojahn and congenially interpreted by pianist Hanni Liang. In this performance, the texts are recited by the composer himself; at the beginning of the CD, you can hear an extra audio version in which the author reads the texts without the music. This world première on CD No. 3 concludes our musical retrospective of the Ruhr Piano Festival 2017. As every year, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all participating artists, as also to our faithful benefactor who finances this project, Ms Helene Mahnert-Lueg. I wish you several hours of listening pleasure!

Prof. Franz Xaver Ohnesorg, Director of the Ruhr Piano Festival

SERGIO TIEMPO

Born in 1972 in Caracas, Venezuela, Sergio Tempo started playing the piano and learning from his mother at the age of three. When he was four years old he already appeared on an Argentinian television broadcast, and he gave recitals in London and in France when he was seven. His most outstanding mentors include Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire, Nikita Magaloff, Murray Perahia and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Tiempo has performed as a chamber musician worldwide, including appearances with Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky. As a soloist, he particularly loves to perform concerts in tandem with his compatriot and friend Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra. Tiempo has made several recordings for labels including Deutsche Grammophon and EMI Classics. After having given his first performance at the Ruhr Piano Festival in 2007 in a duo with Martha Argerich, he now made his second Festival appearance in 2017.

ANNA ZASSIMOVA

Anna Zassimova trained at the world-renowned Gnessin School in Moscow, and then at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, with professors including Vladimir Tropp and Markus Stange. She also studied art history and theory at the Glazunov Art Academy in Moscow. Since 2006, she has been teaching piano at her alma mater in Karlsruhe, where she obtained a Doctorate in Music in 2011. An extremely versatile pianist, she is not only well-known and admired for her outstanding interpretations of Chopin, but also as an excellent performer of contemporary music, making appearances at festivals such as Musica Viva in Munich and ECLAT in Stuttgart. Anna Zassimova particularly loves to discover works by unknown composers and reveal them to the public. Apart from three solo CDs featuring works by Chopin (including one on an historical Erard pianoforte of Chopin’s day), she has also recorded Medtner, Roslavets and Scriabin (for Antes Edition) as well as two chamber music albums featuring the works of Russian-French composer Georgy Catoire. 2017 marked Zassimova’s first appearance at the Ruhr Piano Festival.

 

ZHANG ZUOZ

was born in the Chinese megalopolis of Shenzhen; she started learning the piano at the age of five. She has studied at Shenzhen Arts School and in the US, as well as in other countries. She obtained her Masters Degree at Juilliard School of Music in New York City, and continues to receive guidance from Alfred Brendel. Zhang Zuo has won First Prize at the 1st International Piano Concerto Competition in China, at the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition in the US and at the Krainev International Piano Competition in Ukraine. Audiences are riveted by her individual, unique interpretations, and her unpretentious, natural character ensures that she is able to connect with them on a direct level. The Los Angeles Times has praised her creative maturity as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry”. 2017 marked the year of her first performance at the Ruhr Piano Festival.

JOSEPH MOOG

Born in 1987 in Ludwigshafen, Joseph Moog started sitting down regularly at the piano when he was four. At the age of ten he was accepted as a young student at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, before going on to study in Würzburg and Hannover. Moog has a fine sense for combining repertoire. He places well-loved pieces alongside rare niche findings, searching for new insight and thereby throwing a different light on familiar music – for instance, when he places shining gems of the Late Baroque period such as Domenico Scarlatti’s brief sonatas alongside piano transcriptions and arrangements from the 19th century, or when, instead of pairing the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Schumann Concerto, he chooses to feature Moritz Moszkowski instead: a true discovery. Moog has twice won the International Classical Music Award (ICMA); in 2009 he was selected as a Young Steinway Artist. He has garnered further international prizes such as the 2015 Gramophone Classical Music Award as Young Artist of the Year, followed by a 2016 Grammy nomination. Moog is featured in several instances on CDs of the Edition Ruhr Piano Festival: for instance, on Vol. 35 with Max Reger’s Telemann Variations. Volume 32 includes an entire CD performed by Moog, with works by Liszt, Debussy, and others. He guested at the Ruhr Piano Festival for the 5th time in 2017. 

PLAMENA MANGOVA

Born in Bulgaria in 1980, pianist Plamena Mangova’s career was launched with a true kettledrum roll when she not only won Second Prize at the Queen Elizabeth International Competition in Brussels, but also a “Diapason d’Or of the Year” in France for her first CD release. She had studied at the State Music Academy in Sofia under Marina Kapatsinskaya, with Dmitri Bashkirov at the Reina Sofia Academy in Madrid and with Abdel-Rahman El Bacha at the Chapelle Musicale in Brussels, while garnering further important counsel in masterclasses imparted by outstanding musicians such as Leon Fleisher, Krystian Zimerman and Sir András Schiff. She has proven her capabilities as a solo concerto performer with orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, MDR RSO Leipzig and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, under conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Myung-Whun Chung, Dmitri Jurowski, Karl Heinz Steffens and François-Xavier Roth. She has been invited to perform in outstanding venues: the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Munich Herkulessaal, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. 2017 marked the year in which Plamena Mangova gave her first performance at the Ruhr Piano Festival.

MAKI NAMEKAWA & DENNIS RUSSELL DAVIES

The two musicians met for the first time at the Ruhr Piano Festival in 2002. Then, in 2003, after the resounding success of their joint performance at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa decided to start appearing regularly as a piano duo. In the US they have guested at the Metropolitan Pavillion in New York City, and at the Other Minds Festival of New Music at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. In Europe they have performed at a great number of events, including the International Music Festival in Colmar (France), the Rheingau Festival (Germany). Klangspuren (Austria) and the Transart Festival (Italy). They make regular appearances at the Ruhr Piano Festival, at Ars Electronica in Linz, and at the Salzkammergut Festival Weeks in Gmunden (both in Upper Austria). On the occasion of the Ruhr Piano Festival’s 20th anniversary, they performed the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Four Movements for Two Pianos, commissioned by the Festival. Featuring visuals by Martin Wattenberg and Lotte Schreiber/Norbert Pfaffenbichler along with music by Steve Reich (Piano Phase) and Philip Glass (Les enfants terribles), the duo’s DVD entitled images 4 music was nominated for the International Media Prize for Art and Science in 2005. Their recording of Alexander Zemlinsky’s arrangement of Mozart’s Magic Flute for piano four hands was released in 2006 as part of the Edition Ruhr Piano Festival (Vol. 10) and was praised by the critics. Namekawa & Davies followed in 2007 with Zemlinsky’s arrangement of Beethoven’s Fidelio in Vol. 16. Their next contribution to the Edition Ruhr Piano Festival boxed CD series was Vol. 21, American Piano Music, with works by Bernstein, Copland and Glass. In 2010 they released Vol. 24, a double CD featuring Haydn’s Seasons and The Creation, once again in Zemlinsky’s four-hand piano arrangement. Maki Namekawa performed for the 13th time at the Festival on the occasion of its 2017 edition, and Dennis Russell Davies that same year for the 15th time. On 12 July 2017 the duo received the Ruhr Piano Festival Prize along with Philip Glass.

MICHAEL KRÜGER

Michael Krüger was born on 9 December 1943 in Wittgendorf (near Zeitz). After his secondary education in Berlin, he trained as a publisher’s bookseller and book printer, while sitting in on lectures at the Faculty of Letters of the Free University Berlin. From 1962 to 1965 he worked as a bookseller in London, and began working as a literary critic in 1966. Two years later, in 1968, he became an editor for the Carl Hanser publishing house, which he managed from 1986 to 2013. Since 1981, he has published and edited Akzente, an influential literary bimonthly. In 1972, Krüger published his own poems for the first time, with his debut as a fiction writer twelve years later with the book Was tun? Eine altmodische Geschichte (“What Should We Do? An Old-Fashioned Story”). A great number of stories, novels, edited works and translations have ensued. Among many other distinctions, Michael Krüger has been awarded the Eichendorff Prize for Literature (2017), the Joseph Breitbach Prize (2010), the Literature Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts (2004), the Prix Médicis Étranger (1996) and the Peter Huchel Prize (1986).

HANNI LIANG

Hanni Liang was born in Bielefeld, Germany in 1993; she received her first piano lessons when she was eight years old, and was accepted into the class of Prof. Barbara Szczepanska after displaying rapid progress. She soon started giving recitals and reaping prizes, including First Prizes at the Rotary Piano Competition, at the Van Bremen Piano Competition, and at the Concorso Pianistico Internazionale di Roma. She has made appearances in Austria, China, Spain, Italy, and Poland, including performances at the Warsaw International Chopin Festival or at Tianjin Piano Festival. In 2010 she was elected as a Young Steinway Artist; she has been awarded scholarships by the Dörken Stiftung and the Richard Wagner Foundation, among others. Her close collaboration with the German composer Manfred Trojahn led to the premiere of his piano piece Leise Gondeln and in 2015 to a recording of his Six Préludes. Hanni Liang gave her début at the Ruhr Piano Festival in 2017.

MANFRED TROJAHN

Manfred Trojahn was born in Cremlingen (near Brunswick) in 1949. He studied orchestra music in Brunswick and went on to study composition with Diether de la Motte in Hamburg. His works have received a great number of distinctions, including the Stuttgart Advancement Prize (1972), First Prize in the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (1978), the Sprengel Music Prize (1980) and the German Music Author Prize (2009). Until 2017 he held a professorship for composition at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf: Trojahn is a member of the Academies of the Arts in Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, and Berlin. Manfred Trojahn’s oeuvre comprises practically every music genre. His works have been performed by outstanding soloists, orchestras and conductors in Germany and abroad. Ever since the première of Enrico in 1991, music theatre has occupied a preponderant place in his output. Trojahn’s operas Was ihr wollt (Munich, 1998), La Grande Magia (Dresden, 2008) and Orest (Amsterdam, 2011) have been taken up and staged by a number of international opera houses. Trojahn has recently been composing more and more for instrumental ensemble: thus, since 2012, he has been writing the Quitter cycle based on texts by René Char for Ensemble Modern; in 2013 wrote Le Ceneri di Gramsci (on a text by Pasolini) for MusikFabrik NRW, and in 2015 /16 the first portion of Nocturne – Minotauromachie for Ensemble Intercontemporain.